A senior member of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction spoke at a televised ceremony in support of Abbas last Monday, where he declared Fatah is on the brink of leaving peace talks and returning to armed combat.
Tawfiq Tirawi, a Fatah Central Committee member, said at the Jericho ceremony "we in this movement have not cast down the rifle and have not let go of the rifle. The rifle is here!"
As for current peace talks, Tirawi remarked they are only "one of the methods of struggle. But the rifle is here, and it can burst forth at any moment." The comments, made on official PA TV, were translated by Palestinian Media Watch.
The theme was likewise seen in a cartoon posted on Fatah's official Facebook page two weeks ago, which showed a small boy pulling the hand of a man bearing a rifle, wearing a military uniform and a keffiyeh headscarf. The child says "we have missed you, come back."
Tirawi's calls for "revolution until victory" through renewed armed violence is the latest in a series of growing violent rhetoric from Abbas's party. Tirawi in January called for a "violent uprising" against Israel, urging terrorism against the Jewish state.
Meanwhile, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki noted in February that his party "has not ruled out the military options." He added "we have not forgotten our principles or our goals...we adhered to our entire legacy of struggle, so that it can be resorted to at the right time."
Regarding Tirawi's comments that the current peace talks are a "method of struggle," Zaki remarked in another interview in February that a US-brokered peace deal would only be the "first stage" in eradicating Israel entirely.